April 16th, 2008
|02:36 pm - Journeying through Religious Supplies|
Journeys into the local religious supply store are ever an adventure. With the need for a way to transport my vestments across the country without stuffing them into a sack, I ventured into one today at lunch.
Looking as I do right now, with my long-hippie-style hair and my black faux-military jacket with skulls on it, an old gas mask bag slung over my shoulder, I was not surprised to be greeted with a general distrust. The look I was given as the words, "How can I help you?" came out of the saleslady's mouth was really enough to inform me that she didn't truly want to help me.
Indeed, she suspected unsavory motives in my visit.
It's an odd feeling: stepping into a place that supplies religious items, and feeling religiously out of place. Not so much because you feel like you don't belong, but rather because you feel like someone else thinks you shouldn't belong.
I told her I was fine, and knew what I was looking for. I spent five minutes rummaging through vestments, checking robe length against garment bag length, looking for a way to carry my white robe across the country without getting it wrinkly, dingy or dirty. I wanted something that would be easy to carry onto a plane (so no bags that just had hangers for handles) and that would be durable enough to handle being thrown into the bowels of a cargo compartment if needed.
I was slowly becoming frustrated: the concept isn't hard, is it? I'm positive that the clergy of other religions take their vestments with them across the country, and they're probably far more worried about wrinkles than I am. There had to be a solution there.
Well, the saleslady came back out and asked me what I was looking for. At the time, I was browsing through a catalogue of vestments, trying to find what length I needed. I could tell she still had reservations, and I saw her sweep her eyes across the expensive items in the case in front of me, but she was less willing to judge my motives and more willing to sell me something. I have a feeling that her boss had gotten involved.
I informed her of what I was looking for, and pointed out the vestments I already had. I expressed some dissatisfaction with the length of the garment bags on hand, and she suggested a garment portfolio instead, pointing me to a bag I had not seen yet.
I looked this over. Slightly dirty, somewhat worn, and not particularly impressive looking, but sturdily constructed and wide enough to fit my robe: it passed the real tests. I thanked her and said I'd take this under consideration, too (noting to myself that it was twice as expensive as the most expensive garment bag there). I began to wander around the rest of the store, bag in hand, and she watched me as I wandered through candles and a variety of other religious artificats (such as a statue of Christ being tackled by a child during a football game).
In the end, I settled in my mind on this bag, and took it to the counter. I went to pay with my card, and showed her my ID. She eyed it somewhat suspiciously, and another cashier looked at it and said, "Hey, the guy on the ID doesn't have long hair!"
"Well, it's been over a year since I cut it," I said.
The second cashier added, "Oh, I know how that can go. Sometimes, you're just too busy. But, it makes you look more like Jesus."
I ignored the last comment. Not to be rude, but because it really didn't sink in until I had already started speaking, still on my last thought. "I figure I can grow it out long enough to donate it, perhaps."
Now the saleslady who had eyed me so darkly and suspiciously for the past twenty minutes was very friendly: her face brightened and a smile sprang to her lips. "Oh, well that's a wonderful thing!" She took another look at the bag. "You know," she said, "the bag is a bit dingy and it doesn't look very new. Let's take 20% off."
Looks create interesting perceptions among people. I've been learning a lot about what clothes can do for you, and how people perceive someone with long hair. It is interesting to me how age makes a difference, as do place in life and occupation, in how others perceive your choices of style and personal expression.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go teach a child how to hold a golf club.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: "Margaritaville", -JB
|Date:||April 16th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)|| |
Personally I think one of the best things about being a guy with long hair is not being one of those forgettably similar-looking short-haired guys.
Instead everything gets me confused with that other guy they once knew that had long brown hair.
Oh yeah, and occasionally it's fun to complete the Jesus look with some hemp sandals, then mention that my dad's a carpenter.
Indeed, I suspect I am somehow less forgettable than I once was.
The hair might also look good at RenFest this year, since I get to go for the first time in about 4 years. . . :)
|Date:||April 16th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)|| |
People started treating me nicer and with more respect when I lost weight and started wearing makeup.
You've been lovely and were never overweight in my eyes as long as I can remember. Did you lose said weight before I met you ten years ago?
Then again, I generally remember people's looks as a reflection of their personality, I have found, rather than the other way 'round.
(Seriously: I don't remember much change in you. Just have always liked you. But that might also be due to only seeing you occasionally over ten years or so. Now I'm really curious!)
Heh yeah, it's amazing what a change of appearance or perception will do to people - really it seems if you can just somewhat look the part and provide some BS you can get anywhere or do anything. It's rather scary how easy it is - as simple as a $10 generic security shirt, other simple outfits, or just dropping the right words to radically change people's reactions and interactions with you.
Clearly, you and I need to go shopping together
Wish I had a dollar for everytime someone told me (esp. around the winter holidays) that I "looked like Jesus."
We used to joke that all the straight men in my old coven were required to look like Jesus, as they all had long hair & beards. My Ex even had a band t-shirt with a picture of the Sacred Heart
on it, for extra blasphemy. :-D (even had a picture of him in that pose with the shirt on standing on the altar at the UU church we rented for rites)
I tried very hard to look professional for an interview with a Jungian Analyst I wanted to intern for back in college & was surprised & rather disappointed when he commented that I looked "artsy". I realized at that point that I could be wearing a suit & still look artsy somehow. It's my off-beat personality.
I'm always amazed at how differently I get treated by people depending on how I'm dressed. It's especially noticeable when people assume that I'm the age I look rather than the age I am. It's like I suddenly become much smarter.
By the way, most clergy aren't as concerned with the wrinkle bit for transport... they got those non-natural fibers in their vestments make them wrinkle-free, so the carrybag isn't as much of a concern.
Mine are actually also non-natural, but they do wrinkle. Really, I like these robes better than my old cotton ones. Far more comfortable, and much easier to clean. Better fitting, too :)
All of my experiences turn out positive. Take the other night, when I went out to be alone and ended up running into one of my best friends from many years ago. . .
Re: Clothing and image
I had a women's studies class where the teacher asked us to wear something that was our opposite gender (not sex, just gender) for a day. I wore a super frilly bare midriff top and suddenly had an amazing number of guys willing to open doors for me. Two of our male classmates wore skirts, and one wore nail polish, and all three of them were harassed for it. It never fails to amaze me how something as simple as clothing causes people to treat you differently.
I suppose there are worse people to be compared to, but what an odd thing to say!
It seems to be a very common comment to guys with long hair & facial hair. People told my ex that constantly.
Funny story. I'd started school shortly after my ex & I split up, so my first year back I was also dealing with the divorce proceedings. One of my classes was a graphic design software class where we learned about the various programs we used, like Photoshop. We had a project called the Form & Function project where we had to do 6 different pictures where we combined objects of similar form &/or function. The icon on this comment is one of those projects. One of the other ones involved me grafting the head of my ex onto a picture of the big bonfire at Burning Man. (I got an A on it.)
So, a few weeks later I'm at a portfolio review where three local graphic design professionals are looking at my work. I accidentally open up my portfolio (which had *all* of my work in it) to that particular image. And one of the women looked at it & said, "It's Jesus!" To which I rather embarassedly said, "Uh, no. That's my exhusband." The lone guy in the review said, "Say no more." :-D
Yeah. All the guys in our Grove seem to have facial hair (well, a couple don't, but the majority certainly do). Totally not on purpose, either.
I really cannot picture you in that jacket, but it is awesome. Perhaps because when I think of you I either think of the picture of you in your robes with your hands up-turned or the one picture of you from your buffet ritual.
Speaking of, I found a Buffet novel at the used book store (I don't have it with me, so I don't remember what it's called), but if you haven't read it I can pass it on to you when I'm done.
I'll bet I have it. If it's A Salty Piece of Land then I recommend picking up Tales from Margaritaville first. Where is Joe Merchant was excellent. I have yet to read the book about the pig, though: it's high on the list.
The red hair, I have to say, does look very nice on you.
I've begun wearing more colour, myself. New shirts and pants, additions of small touches. It's done me well, and people take notice. I like that, and it's helping in the long run.
I tend to have a prejudice towards white, clean-cut, conservative looking men. I automatically have somewhat of a mis-trust, judgmental feeling towards these types of men. It is not intense, but it is there. I have to consciously acknowledge it so as I don't discount a potentially interesting/cool/intelligent, etc. person. This prejudice comes from many different things, such as how I was raised (had a post-hippie, Unitarian Univeralist, single parent for a Dad - well, still do); past negative, personal experiences; working with severely mentally ill, indigent clients; working in two prisons, and probably other things that I can't point out specifically. It is strange, because I often have clients or people who don't know me well, assuming I am a conservative person with certain prejudices or opinions because of how I look/dress. They often feel free to say things to me, assuming I'm on the same page and I am totally not. I also sometimes get the cold-shoulder from people who I would like to learn more about because I dress/look more conservative. I sometimes have to quickly re-assess a situation because the reaction I get is so different/contrary to who I am as a person, I forget that my outside may portray to others a different picture that who I really am, but in a reverse kind of way than what you experienced - if that makes sense?
Edited at 2008-04-17 05:20 pm (UTC)
I'm totally the kind of guy you'd distrust. :) Well, I was prior to the long hair.
And it makes sense :)